A link between worlds walkthrough

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By Keza MacDonald
I expected The Legend of Zelda: A liên kết Between Worlds to lớn submerge me in comfortable familiarity, but what I didn’t expect is that it would be my favourite Zelda since Wind Waker, or that it would present me with some of the most inventive, cerebral puzzles in the series’ 27-year history. Between Worlds is a powerfully nostalgic experience for anybody with memories of The Legend of Zelda: A link to the Past, but it’s also an exceptional game in its own right. It doesn’t just pay homage khổng lồ Zelda’s past glories. It reinvigorates its spark.

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This familiar Hyrule - built from brown layers of rock topped with bright green grass, secret caves full of scuttling creatures, deep blue rivers that carve through a landscape of desert ruins, volcanic mountains, and swampy wetlands - is a childhood dreamscape brought to life, colourful & imaginative and stuffed with secrets, & it has barely changed since 1992. But Between Worlds combines the emotionally potent familiarity of links To The Past’s Hyrule with some of the most sthienlongho.comificant innovations that the Zelda series has seen in years.

The bombs, boomerangs, bows và other items that ảo diệu your adventurer’s toolkit - secreted since the series’ origins in chests deep within dungeons (which have khổng lồ be completed in a certain order) - are now available khổng lồ rent và use almost from the beginning, courtesy of an enthusiastic chap in a purple rabbit hat. It’s a small change that has huge repercussions, freeing you from a mix path of progression & imbuing Between Worlds with a liberating sense of adventure & discovery that’s lacking in, say, Spirit Tracks & Skyward Sword. You really can set out, tools in hand, & explore in whichever direction you choose.

This retro aesthetic - halfway between SNES-era sprites and modern 3d - is a strange mix, & once the initial nostalgia has worn off it loses some of its impact. The Past’s top-down 2 chiều style translates well into 3D, but it’s a straight visual upgrade rather than a statement, like Wind Waker’s cel-shading or Skyward Sword’s beautifully daubed, impressionist feel. That said, Between Worlds boasts the same masterful use of 3d as Nintendo’s other best 3DS games, from Luigi’s Mansion to lớn Super Mario 3 chiều Land. With the slider up, it comes into its own visually.

It’s also thematically befitting, as link himself is also caught between 2D and 3D. A button press transforms him into a painting on almost any wall, letting him move left và right across them lượt thích an animated Egyptian wall painting before rematerialising in 3D. It adds a spatial element to the puzzling, as you have to lớn navigate Hyrule & its dungeons in both dimensions, looking for paths across chasms or through gaps in walls, & remarkably it finds new applications throughout link Between Worlds' 15-or-so hours.

A link Between Worlds offsets these innovations with a tendency to stick lớn very safe, very familiar territory, both literally in this recreated Hyrule and figuratively in the story. Link himself is back lớn being a blank cipher, a bobbing quiff and a green tunic, rather than the tragic young anh hùng of Ocarina of Time & Majora’s Mask or the lively youth of Skyward Sword, và this Hyrule - rewarding as it is to explore - lacks the personality of other Zelda worlds. The story, meanwhile, could be uncharitably described as twee, though it’s partially redeemed by a rousing ending. It’s almost as if the desthienlongho.comers felt the need lớn appeal to lớn our sense of Zelda tradition in order lớn give them license to lớn experiment with it.

Hyrule - and its dark twin, Lorule, which opens up after the first three dungeons & adds trans-dimensional travel lớn your exploration toolkit - is desthienlongho.comed lớn reward your inquisitiveness and curiosity. It’s lượt thích a gigantic puzzle box, with a multitude of secret levers & compartments within compartments. Small rewards lượt thích chests of Rupees, pieces of heart and, uh, collectible shellfish are scattered everywhere, teasing you to lớn figure out how to claim them. Ten dungeons, meanwhile, punctuate the map, and might lie either at the end of a convoluted và treacherous path or hidden in plain sight.

You may not always have the tòa tháp that you need when you get lớn wherever it is you’re going, but instead of having khổng lồ wait for it to drop into your hands at a predetermined point, you can run back khổng lồ the item cửa hàng to fetch it. Cutely implemented fast-travel, which comes in the form of a helpful but snarky witch on a flying broom, mitigates the need for trekking across the map. In this world, though, even backtracking can be a pleasure, as something you hadn’t noticed before leads you off in a new direction.

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Hyrule is still subtly gated, to lớn an extent. But I never felt restricted in my self-directed exploration, and for the first time in years I wasn’t bothered by the over-familiarity that had begun to encroach upon my enjoyment of this wonderful series. Any long-term Zelda fan hâm mộ can relate lớn the slightly deflated feeling of opening a chest to that triumphant refrain, only to find a long-expected boomerang or hookshot. With those toys already in your hands, Between Worlds is free to surprise you in other ways - like in its spectacular puzzle desthienlongho.com.

And surprise it does. The Legend of Zelda: A liên kết Between Worlds is the best puzzle game that Nintendo has ever released. Each dungeon is a self-contained conundrum, with its own rules & dangers. In one, darkness reveals what light won’t, turning the use of torches into a strategic decision. Another is a fiery deathtrap navigable only with an ice wand to lớn turn its columns of lava into stone. Yet another is a giant prison, full of switches và cells & hollow walls. Some are more familiar than others - there’s a dungeon with levers khổng lồ change the water level, and a sand dungeon deep in the desert - but even those feel fresh, và come with new approaches. For all Between Worlds’ aesthetic familiarity, the puzzle kiến thiết is as inventive and novel here as it has ever been.

As someone who’s grown up with Zelda, I greatly appreciate that it treats you like an intelligent person with a functioning brain và a decent attention span, unafraid lớn let you get stuck. Where in previous games you’d walk into a room & Fi or Navi or Midna would immediately pop up và tell you what to vì there, here you’re left khổng lồ figure it out for yourself, just like we used khổng lồ be. But it’s not without helpful pointers – instead of using words, Between Worlds uses the language of its kiến thiết guide your eyes towards the separate elements of complex puzzles, and when my brain arranged them into place I’m certain even other people in the room could hear the satisfying click.

There is help available if you can’t figure out what lớn do, but Between Worlds has the grace lớn offer it up quietly instead of shoving it in your face. Right near the beginning, you’re given an cống phẩm called the Hint Glasses - put them on, and you can see Hint Ghosts standing near points of interest, & they’ll give you a tip in exchange for a 3DS Play Coin. Once introduced, it’s never mentioned again. The system has its limitations, though: I tested it out in a later dungeon, & the Hint Ghost’s words of wisdom weren’t always much use, being either too obvious or too general.

Item renting adds a new dimension of challenge khổng lồ Between Worlds, in that it introduces real consequences for death. Should liên kết fall in battle or fall off a ledge too many times, your rented items are whisked away back khổng lồ the shop, leaving you potentially in the middle of a dungeon without something you really need. Often, though, there will be a way to lớn get through without using items at all - you just have to lớn think your way around obstacles more creatively.

And Between Worlds actually will kill you, too, even if you’re a Zelda veteran. It’s unashamedly difficult, and cyclopses and centaurs roaming the dangerous areas of the maps will happily rob you of four hearts with a hit. For me, the element of danger heightened the thrill of exploration; in a dungeon you can always restart from the entrance, trekking through empty rooms & back through solved puzzles khổng lồ where you were, but out in the wilds you have khổng lồ fight your way back.

What could have been an easy sequel that traded on past glories is instead a compelling argument for digging up the foundations of Zelda và seeing what happens - rather like Wind Waker did 10 years ago. A links Between Words is not a total revolution, but it may very well be the start of one. I haven’t been so challenged by a Zelda since Ocarina of Time, & rarely have I been so consistently surprised by one.Between Worlds recaptures the spirit of adventure that gave the early games Zelda their potency, và lays out a vision for Zelda games still khổng lồ come. It invites them - và us, the long-term fans - to let go of conventions that may have been comforting, but were ultimately holding us back. It’s at once intensely nostalgic and powerfully novel, unpatronising & cerebral. As a Zelda fan, I couldn’t wish for much more.